CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Fire Code 2012 (IFC 2012)

Copyright

Preface

Effective Use of the International Fire Code

Legislation

Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Chapter 1 ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

Chapter 2 Definitions

Chapter 3 General Requirements

Chapter 4 Emergency Planning and Preparedness

Chapter 5 Fire Service Features

Chapter 6 Building Services and Systems

Chapter 7 Fire-Resistance-Rated Construction

Chapter 8 Interior Finish, Decorative Materials and Furnishings

Chapter 9 Fire Protection Systems

Chapter 10 Means of Egress

Chapter 11 Construction Requirements for Existing Buildings

Chapter 12 Through 19 Reserved

Chapter 20 Aviation Facilities

Chapter 21 Dry Cleaning

Chapter 22 Combustible Dust-Producing Operations

Chapter 23 Motor Fuel-Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages

Chapter 24 Flammable Finishes

Chapter 25 Fruit and Crop Ripening

Chapter 26 Fumigation and Insecticidal Fogging

Chapter 27 Semiconductor Fabrication Facilities

Chapter 28 Lumber Yards and Woodworking Facilities

Chapter 29 Manufacture of Organic Coatings

Chapter 30 Industrial Ovens

Chapter 31 Tents and Other Membrane Structures

Chapter 32 High-Piled Combustible Storage

Chapter 33 Fire Safety During Construction and Demolition

Chapter 34 Tire Rebuilding and Tire Storage

Chapter 35 Welding and Other Hot Work

Chapter 36 Marinas

Chapter 37 Through 49 Reserved

Chapter 50 Hazardous Materials—General Provisions

Chapter 51 Aerosols

Chapter 52 Combustible Fibers

Chapter 53 Compressed Gases

Chapter 54 Corrosive Materials

Chapter 55 Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 56 Explosives and Fireworks

Chapter 57 Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Chapter 58 Flammable Gases and Flammable Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 59 Flammable Solids

Chapter 60 Highly Toxic and Toxic Materials

Chapter 61 Liquefied Petroleum Gases

Chapter 62 Organic Peroxides

Chapter 63 Oxidizers, Oxidizing Gases and Oxidizing Cryogenic Fluids

Chapter 64 Pyrophoric Materials

Chapter 65 Pyroxylin (Cellulose Nitrate) Plastics

Chapter 66 Unstable (Reactive) Materials

Chapter 67 Water-Reactive Solids and Liquids

Chapter 68 Through 79 Reserved

Chapter 80 Referenced Standards

Appendix A Board of Appeals

Appendix B Fire-Flow Requirements for Buildings

Appendix C Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution

Appendix D Fire Apparatus Access Roads

Appendix E Hazard Categories

Appendix F Hazard Ranking

Appendix G CRYOGENIC FLUIDS—WEIGHT AND VOLUME EQUIVALENTS

Appendix H Hazardous Materials Management Plan (Hmmp) and Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (Hmis) Instructions

Appendix I FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS—NONCOMPLIANT CONDITIONS

Appendix J Building Information Sign

101.1 Title

STATE AMENDMENT
The D.C. Fire Code (2013), hereinafter referred to as the “Fire Code,” shall consist of the 2012 edition of the International Fire Code as amended by the Construction Codes Supplement (12 DCMR H, Fire Code Supplement).

101.2 Scope

STATE AMENDMENT
The Fire Code establishes regulations affecting or relating to structures, processes, premises and safeguards regarding:
  1. The hazard of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling or use of structures, materials or devices;
  2. Conditions hazardous to life, property or public welfare in the occupancy of structures or premises;
  3. Fire hazards in the structure or on the premises from occupancy or operation; and
  4. Conditions affecting the safety of fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

101.2.1 Appendices

STATE AMENDMENT
Provisions in the appendices of the International Fire Code shall not apply unless specifically adopted in the Construction Codes Supplement.

101.3 Intent

STATE AMENDMENT
The purpose of the Fire Code is to establish the minimum requirements consistent with nationally recognized good practice for providing a reasonable level of life safety and property protection from the hazards of fire, explosion or dangerous conditions in new and existing buildings, structures and premises, and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations.

101.4 Partial Invalidity

STATE AMENDMENT
If any part or provision of the Construction Codes is held illegal or void, this shall not make illegal or void any other parts or provisions of the Construction Codes that are determined to be legal. It shall be presumed that the Construction Codes would have been enacted and adopted without such illegal or void parts or provisions.

101.4.1 Severability

STATE AMENDMENT
Any illegal or void part of the Construction Codes shall be severed from the remainder of the Construction Codes by the court holding such part illegal or void, and the remainder of the Construction Codes shall remain effective.
The invalidity of any provision in any section of the Construction Codes as applied to existing buildings and structures shall not be held to affect the validity of such section in its application to buildings and structures erected after the effective date of the Construction Codes.

Section 102 APPLICABILITY

STATE AMENDMENT
The Fire Code shall be applicable to all premises, including buildings and structures, and conditions within the District of Columbia and the structures appurtenant to such buildings, including buildings and structures appurtenant to premises occupied by or for any foreign government as an embassy or chancery, to the extent provided for in Section 206 of the Foreign Missions Act, approved August 24, 1982 [96 Stat. 286; D.C. Official Code § 6-1306(g) (2012 Repl.)]. The provisions of the Fire Code shall not apply to public buildings or premises owned by the United States Government, including appurtenant structures and portions of buildings, premises, or structures that are under the exclusive control of an officer of the United States Government in his or her official capacity. If a lessor is responsible for maintenance and repairs to property leased to the United States Government, the property shall not be deemed to be under the exclusive control of an officer of the United States Government.
The administrative, operational and maintenance provisions of the Fire Code shall apply to:
  1. Conditions and operations arising after the adoption of the Fire Code; and
  2. Existing conditions and operations.
Except as provided in Section 102.10, nothing in the Fire Code shall negate or modify permit, certificate of occupancy or other applicable requirements set forth in the Construction Codes, including, but not limited to the following.
Any change in the use, occupancy load or tenant floor layout of any structure or portion thereof shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Construction Codes, including, but not limited to, Section 110.1.3 of 12 DCMR A.
The design and construction of new structures shall comply with the Building Code, and any alterations, additions, changes in use or occupancy, or changes in structures required by the Fire Code, which are within the scope of the Building Code or the Existing Building Code, must comply with the Building Code or the Existing Building Code as applicable.
Where interior or exterior fire protection systems or devices are installed or altered, such systems or devices are subject to the permit application, fire protection documents, inspection and other applicable requirements set forth in Chapter 1 of 12 DCMR A.
Owners and tenants of premises shall also comply with applicable property maintenance provisions as set forth in the Property Maintenance Code.
Where structures are designed and constructed in accordance with the Residential Code, the provisions of the Fire Code shall apply as follows:
  1. Construction and design provisions: Provisions of the Fire Code pertaining to the exterior of the structure shall apply including, but not limited to, premises identification, fire apparatus access and water supplies. Where interior or exterior fire protection systems or devices are installed, the provisions of the Fire Code shall also apply.
  2. Administrative, operational and maintenance provisions: All such provisions of the Fire Code shall apply.

102.5 [Reserved]

STATE AMENDMENT

102.6 Historic Buildings

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of the Fire Code relating to the construction, alteration, repair, enlargement, restoration, relocation or moving of buildings or structures shall not be mandatory for historic buildings or structures meeting the requirements of Chapter 12 of the Existing Building Code, when such buildings or structures are judged by the code official not to constitute a distinct hazard to life or property. The code official is authorized to approve a fire protection plan developed in accordance with the provisions of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 909 for any designated historic building or structure.
The codes and standards referenced in the Fire Code shall be those that are listed in Chapter 80 of the International Fire Code and such codes and standards shall be considered part of the requirements of the Fire Code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between the provisions of the Fire Code and the referenced standards, the provisions of the Fire Code shall apply.
Where no applicable standards or requirements are set forth in the Fire Code, or are contained within other laws, codes, regulations or ordinances adopted by the District of Columbia, compliance with applicable standards of NFPA or other nationally recognized fire safety standards, as approved by the code official, shall be deemed as prima facie evidence of compliance with the intent of the Fire Code. Nothing herein shall derogate from the authority of the code official to determine compliance with codes or standards for those activities or installations within the code official’s jurisdiction or responsibility.
Requirements that are essential for the public safety of an existing or proposed activity, building or structure, or for the safety of the occupants thereof, which are not specifically provided for by the Fire Code, shall be determined by the code official.

102.10 Code Precedence

STATE AMENDMENT
Unless otherwise provided herein, or in the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986, effective March 21, 1987 [D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1401 et seq. (2012 Repl.)] (“Construction Codes Act”), the following order of precedence is established among the documents adopted: District of Columbia Construction Codes Supplement, including standards and amendments; International Codes, including standards and amendments.

102.10.1 Conflicts

STATE AMENDMENT
Where, in any specific case, different sections of the Construction Codes specify different materials, methods of construction or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern. When there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement within the Construction Codes, the specific requirement shall be applicable.

If conflict arises between the provisions of the Construction Codes Act and the Construction Codes Supplement, the International Codes, or their referenced standards, the provisions of the Construction Codes Act shall take precedence. If conflict arises between the Construction Codes Supplement, the International Codes, and their referenced standards:
  1. The provisions of the Construction Codes Supplement shall take precedence over the International Codes and their referenced standards, except as provided in subparagraphs 2 and 3 of this section.
  2. The provisions of the Existing Building Code shall take precedence over other provisions of the Construction Codes and their referenced standards with regard to existing buildings and Group R-4 occupancy buildings.
  3. The most stringent provisions of the Existing Building Code shall take precedence when a building is both an existing building and a Group R-4 occupancy.
  4. The provisions of the International Codes, other than their referenced standards, shall take precedence over their referenced standards.

102.11 Other Laws

STATE AMENDMENT
The provisions of this Fire Code shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of District or federal law.
References in this Chapter 1 to chapter or section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to such chapter, section or provision of the Fire Code.
The storage of equipment or materials that are listed as dangerous materials in 20 DCMR § 3106.2, or that will affect either the base flood elevation or the floodway in any Special Flood Hazard Area, as delineated on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Insurance Rate Map for the District (20 DCMR § 3101.2), shall be required to obtain a permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs pursuant to 12 DCMR A § 105, and to comply with the requirements of DCMR Title 20, Chapter 31.
The installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of private fire hydrants shall comply with the provisions of the Private Fire Hydrant Act of 2010, effective March 31, 2011 [D.C. Law 18-337; D.C. Official Code § 34-2410.01 et seq. (2012 Repl.)] (“Private Fire Hydrant Act”).
The Fire Chief of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (“Fire Chief”) shall be the code official for the enforcement of the Fire Code, except that the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”) shall be the code official for enforcement of all provisions of the Fire Code pertaining to approval, installation, design, modification, maintenance, testing, and inspection of all new and existing fire protection systems. References to the term “Department” within the Fire Code shall mean the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
The provisions of 12 DCMR A, Chapter 1, shall apply to the enforcement by the DCRA Director of all Fire Code provisions pertaining to approval, installation, design, modification, maintenance, testing and inspection of all new and existing fire protection systems.
The duties and powers of the code official are set forth in Section 104.1.
The code official shall have the authority to delegate his or her duties and powers under the Fire Code, but he or she shall remain responsible for the proper performance of those duties and powers.

103.4 Organization

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall appoint such number of officers, technical assistants, inspectors and other employees as shall be necessary for the administration of the Fire Code and as authorized by the appointing authority.

103.5 Deputy

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to designate an employee as deputy who shall exercise all the powers of the code official during the temporary absence or disability of the code official.

103.6 Conflicts of Interest

STATE AMENDMENT
No official or employee of the Department shall directly or indirectly engage in any private business transaction or activity that tends in any way to interfere with the performance of his or her duties, including:
  1. Furnishing of Services. Being engaged in, or directly or indirectly connected with, the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or structure under the jurisdiction of the Construction Codes, or the preparation of plans or specifications of a building or structure under the jurisdiction of the Construction Codes, unless the official or employee is the principal owner of the building or structure.
  2. Conflict with Official Duties. Being engaged in any work which conflicts with official duties or with the interest of the Department.
  3. Private Work. Directly or indirectly engaging with or accepting remuneration from any private person, firm, or corporation for the performance of any work as a designer, architect, engineer, consultant or inspector, which work is to be submitted to, passed upon, reviewed, or inspected by any officer of the District of Columbia charged with the administration of any portion of the Construction Codes.
Unless otherwise provided by Federal or District of Columbia law, the code official and any officials and employees of the Department charged with enforcement of the Construction Codes, while acting in their official capacity, shall not be liable personally, and are relieved from all personal liability for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of their official duties.

103.7.1 Defense of Suits

STATE AMENDMENT
Any suit instituted against the code official or any officer or employee of the Department because of an act performed in the discharge of official duties and under the provisions of the Construction Codes, or by reason of any act or omission while performing official duties in connection with the Construction Codes, shall be defended by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia until the final termination of legal proceedings.

103.7.2 Liability for Costs

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official and any official or employee of the Department shall not be personally liable for costs in any action, suit or proceeding that is instituted in pursuance of the provisions of the Construction Codes.
Any official or employee of the Department, acting in good faith and without malice, shall be free from liability for acts performed under the provisions of the Construction Codes or by reason of any act or omission while performing official duties in connection with the Construction Codes.
The District of Columbia government shall not be liable under the Fire Code for any damage to persons or property, by reason of the inspection or re-inspection of buildings, structures or equipment authorized herein, or failure to inspect or re-inspect such buildings, structures or equipment or by reason of the approval or disapproval of any building, structure or equipment authorized therein.

104.1 General

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of the Fire Code and shall have the authority to render interpretations of the Fire Code, and to adopt policies and procedures in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, policies, and procedures shall be in compliance with the intent and purpose of the Fire Code and shall not have the effect of waiving requirements specifically provided for in the Fire Code.
The code official shall have the authority to promulgate, from time to time, administrative bulletins that shall be effective upon publication in the D.C. Register. Administrative bulletins shall be titled, numbered, and dated. Administrative bulletins shall be publically available at the Department’s permit center and shall be posted on the Department’s website. The code official shall maintain on the Department’s website the same administrative bulletins as available at the Department’s permit center.
Amendment of the Fire Code shall be governed by Section 122 of 12 DCMR A, which is incorporated by reference.
The code official is authorized to receive applications, review construction documents and issue permits for construction regulated by the Fire Code, issue permits for operations regulated by the Fire Code, inspect the premises for which such permits have been issued, and enforce compliance with the provisions of the Fire Code.

104.3 Right of Entry

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of the Fire Code, or whenever the code official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a building or upon any premises any conditions or violations of the Fire Code which make the building or premises unsafe, dangerous or hazardous, the code official shall have the authority to enter the building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed upon the code official by the Fire Code. With respect to the inspection of any occupied habitable portion of any building, consent to such inspection shall first be obtained from any person of suitable age and discretion therein, except where an emergency or imminently dangerous condition exists and immediate steps must be taken to protect the public, pursuant to Section 111, such consent need not be obtained. When attempting to gain entrance for inspection, the code official, and any authorized representatives of the code official, shall show official credentials issued by the Department. If entry is refused, the code official is authorized to apply to the Superior Court for an administrative search warrant, pursuant to D.C. Official Code §§ 42-3131.02 and 42-3509.08 (2012 Repl.) and Sup. Ct. Civ. R. 204.

104.4 Identification

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official, and authorized representatives of the code official, shall carry proper identification when inspecting structures or premises in the performance of their duties under the Fire Code.

104.5 Notices and Orders

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to issue such notices or orders as are required to effect compliance with the Fire Code in accordance with Section 109, Violations.

104.6 Official Records

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall keep official records as required by Sections 104.6.1 through 104.6.3. Such official records shall be retained for not less than 5 years or for as long as the structure or activity to which such records relate remains in existence, unless otherwise provided by other regulations. In accordance with procedures established by the code official, official records shall be available for public inspection at all appropriate times pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act of 1976, effective March 25, 1977 [D.C. Law 1-96; D.C. Official Code § 2-531 et seq. (2012 Repl.)]. Pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 2-532 (2012 Repl.), the Department may collect a fee in accordance with 1 DCMR § 408 for researching and copying any requested documents, except that Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners shall not be required to pay this fee.

104.6.1 Approvals

STATE AMENDMENT
A record of approvals shall be maintained by the code official and shall be available for public inspection during business hours in accordance with applicable laws.

104.6.2 Inspections

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall keep a record of each inspection made, including notices and orders issued, showing the findings and disposition of each.

104.6.3 Fire Records

STATE AMENDMENT
The Department shall keep a record of fires occurring within the District of Columbia and of facts concerning the same, including statistics as to the extent of such fires and the damage caused thereby, together with other information as required by the code official.

104.7 Administrative

STATE AMENDMENT
Application for modification, alternative methods or materials, and the final decision of the code official, shall be in writing and shall be officially recorded in the permanent records of the Department.
All materials, equipment and devices approved by the code official shall be constructed and installed in accordance with such approval.
Materials, equipment and devices shall not be reused or reinstalled unless such elements have been reconditioned, tested and placed in good and proper working condition and approved.
To determine the acceptability of technologies, processes, products, facilities, materials and uses attending the design, operation or use of a building or premises subject to inspection by the code official, the code official is authorized to require the owner or agent to provide, without charge to the District of Columbia government, a technical opinion and report. The opinion and report shall be prepared by a qualified engineer, specialist, laboratory, or fire safety specialty organization acceptable to the code official and shall analyze the fire safety properties of the design, operation or use of the building or premises and the facilities and appurtenances situated thereon, to recommend necessary changes. The code official is authorized to require design submittals to be prepared by, and bear the stamp of, a registered design professional.

104.9 Modifications

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever there are practical difficulties involved in carrying out the provisions of the Fire Code, the code official shall have the authority to grant modifications for individual cases, provided the code official shall first find that special individual reason makes the strict letter of the Fire Code impractical, that the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of the Fire Code, and that such modification does not lessen health, life and fire safety requirements. The details of action granting modifications shall be recorded and entered in the Department’s files, and shall be in accordance with Section 104.10 of the Building Code.
The provisions of the Fire Code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any method of construction not specifically prescribed by the Fire Code, provided that any such alternative has been approved as specified in Section 104.11 of the Building Code. The code official is authorized to approve an alternative material or method of construction where the code official finds that (1) the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of the Fire Code, and (2) that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Fire Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.

104.10.1 Research Reports

STATE AMENDMENT
Supporting data, when necessary to assist in the approval of materials or assemblies not specifically provided for in the Fire Code, shall consist of valid research reports from sources approved by the code official.

104.10.2 Tests

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever there is insufficient evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Fire Code, or evidence that a material or method does not conform to the requirements of the Fire Code, or in order to substantiate claims for alternative materials or methods, the code official shall have the authority to require tests as evidence of compliance to be made at no expense to the District of Columbia government. Test methods shall be as specified in the Fire Code or by other recognized test standards. In the absence of recognized and accepted test methods, the code official shall approve the testing procedures. Tests shall be performed by an agency approved by the code official. Reports of such tests shall be retained by the code official for the period required for retention of public records.

104.11 Fire Investigations

STATE AMENDMENT
The Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal, and his or her authorized representative( s) shall have the authority to investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire, explosion, or hazardous materials emergency in which the Department has a reasonable interest. When the Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal, or their authorized representative(s) have reason to believe that a fire, explosion, or hazardous materials incident may be the result of any violation of the law, he or she shall immediately take custody of and safeguard all physical evidence in connection therewith, and shall have the authority to prohibit the disturbance or removal of any materials, substance, device, or utility in or upon any building or premises where an incident occurred, until the investigation of the incident is complete. However, the Metropolitan Police Department shall be the primary investigative agency in incidents involving critical injury, death, or assaults with intent to kill.

104.11.2 Fire Records

STATE AMENDMENT
The Fire Chief shall keep a record of all fires and related facts, including investigation findings and statistics and information about the cause, origin and extent of any fires and related damage.
The Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal or his or her authorized representative( s) shall have the authority at all times, in performance of the duties imposed by the provisions of the Fire Code, to enter upon or examine any area, building or premises, vehicle or other thing when there is a probable cause to believe that fires or attempts to cause fires exist. The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or authorized representative(s) shall have the authority to enter, at any time, any building or premises adjacent to that at which the fire or attempt to cause fires has occurred should they deem it necessary in the proper discharge of their duties, and are authorized, in their discretion, to take full control and custody of such buildings and premises and place such person in charge thereof as they may deem proper until their examination and investigation is completed.
The Fire Marshal, and any other personnel designated in writing by the Fire Chief, shall have and exercise, and are hereby invested with, the same general police powers, including arrest powers, as regular members of the Metropolitan Police Department, for the express purpose of enforcing the fire safety laws in effect in the District of Columbia, including, but not limited to, the Fire Code. This power shall extend to any arrest, the securing of warrants pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 23 of the D.C. Official Code, or other lawful action necessary to permit the peaceful completion of any lawful action by the Department.
Police and other enforcement agencies shall have authority to render necessary assistance in the investigation of fires when requested to do so.
The Fire Chief or officer of the Department in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life or property or any part thereof, shall have the authority to direct such operation as necessary to extinguish or control any fire, perform any rescue operation, investigate the existence of suspected or reported fires, gas leaks or other hazardous conditions or situations, or take any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of duty. In the exercise of such power, the fire chief is authorized to prohibit any person, vehicle, vessel or thing from approaching the scene and is authorized to remove, or cause to be removed or kept away from the scene, any vehicle, vessel or thing which could impede or interfere with the operations of the Department and, in the judgment of the code official, any person not actually and usefully employed in the extinguishing of such fire or in the preservation of property in the vicinity thereof.

104.11.6.1 Barricades

STATE AMENDMENT
The Fire Chief or officer of the Department in charge at the scene of an emergency is authorized to place ropes, guards, barricades or other obstructions across any street, alley, place or private property in the vicinity of such operation so as to prevent accidents or interference with the lawful efforts of the fire department to manage and control the situation and to handle fire apparatus.
No person shall obstruct the operations of the Department in connection with extinguishment or control of any fire, or actions relative to other emergencies, or disobey any lawful command of the code official or officer of the Department in charge of the emergency, or any part thereof, or any lawful order of a police officer assisting the Department.
No person shall render a fire protection system or device inoperative during an emergency unless by direction of the code official or Department official in charge of the incident.

Section 105 PERMITS

STATE AMENDMENT

105.1 General

STATE AMENDMENT
Permits shall be in accordance with Sections 105.1.1 through 105.6.47.

105.1.1 Permits Required

STATE AMENDMENT
Permits required by the Fire Code shall be obtained from the code official. Permit fees, if any, shall be paid prior to issuance of the permit. Issued permits shall be kept on the premises designated therein at all times and shall be readily available for inspection by the code official.

105.1.2 Operational Permits

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit allows the applicant to conduct an operation or a business for which a permit is required by Section 105.6 for either:
  1. A prescribed period; or
  2. Until renewed or revoked.
When more than one permit is required for the same location, the code official is authorized to consolidate such permits into a single permit, provided that each provision of those permits is listed in the consolidated permit.
No permit required under the Fire Code shall be issued if it is determined by the code official that:
  1. The permit affects an area in close proximity to the official residence of the President or Vice President of the United States; and
  2. The United States Secret Service has established that the issuance of the permit would adversely impact the safety and security of the President or Vice President of the United States.

105.2 Application

STATE AMENDMENT
Application for a permit required by the Fire Code shall be made to the code official in such form and detail as prescribed by the code official. Applications for permits shall be accompanied by such plans as prescribed by the code official.
If the application for a permit describes a use that does not conform to the requirements of the Fire Code and other pertinent laws and ordinances, the code official shall not issue a permit, but shall return the application to the applicant with the refusal to issue such permit. Such refusal shall, when requested, be in writing and shall contain the reasons for refusal.
Before a new operational permit is approved, the code official is authorized to inspect the receptacles, vehicles, buildings, devices, premises, storage spaces or areas to be used to determine compliance with the Fire Code or any operational constraints required.
An application for a permit for any proposed work or operation shall be deemed to have been abandoned 180 days after the date of filing, unless such application has been diligently prosecuted or a permit has been issued; except that the code official is authorized to grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each. Any extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause demonstrated.
The code official shall examine or cause to be examined applications for permits and amendments thereto within a reasonable time after filing. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of pertinent laws, the code official shall reject such application in writing, stating the reasons therefore. If the code official is satisfied that the proposed work or operation conforms to the requirements of the Fire Code and laws and ordinances applicable thereto, the code official shall issue a permit therefore as soon as practicable.
A permit shall constitute permission to maintain, store or handle materials; or to conduct processes which produce conditions hazardous to life or property; or to install equipment utilized in connection with such activities; or to install or modify any fire protection system or equipment or any other construction, equipment installation or modification in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Code where a permit is required by Section 105.6. Such permission shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of the Fire Code or other applicable regulations or laws of the District of Columbia.

105.3.1 Expiration

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit shall remain in effect until reissued, renewed, or revoked or for such a period of time as specified in the permit.
Operational permits issued pursuant to Section 105.6 are not transferable, and a new permit must be obtained where there is a change in the person conducting an operation or business, or a transfer of the premises, for which a permit has been issued.
A building or structure shall not be occupied prior to the code official issuing a permit and conducting associated inspections indicating that the applicable provisions of the Fire Code have been met.

105.3.3 Conditional Permits

STATE AMENDMENT
Where permits are required and upon the request of a permit applicant, the code official is authorized to issue a conditional permit to occupy the premises or portion thereof before the entire work or operations on the premises is completed; provided, that such portion or portions will be occupied safely prior to full completion or installation of equipment and operations without endangering life or public welfare. The code official shall notify the permit applicant in writing of any limitations or restrictions necessary to keep the permit area safe. The holder of a conditional permit shall proceed only to the point for which approval has been given, at the permit holder’s own risk and without assurance that approval for the occupancy or the utilization of the entire premises, equipment or operations will be granted.

105.3.4 Posting the Permit

STATE AMENDMENT
Issued permits shall be kept on the premises designated therein at all times and shall be readily available for inspection by the code official.
The issuance or granting of a permit shall not be construed to be a permit for, or an approval of, any violation of any of the provisions of the Fire Code or of any other law or regulation of the District of Columbia. Permits presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of the Fire Code or other law or regulation of the District of Columbia shall not be valid. The issuance of a permit based on construction documents and other data shall not prevent the code official from requiring the correction of errors in the construction documents and other data. Any addition to or alteration of approved construction documents shall be approved in advance by the code official, as evidenced by the issuance of a new or amended permit.
The code official shall issue all permits required by the Fire Code on an approved form furnished for that purpose. The permit shall contain a general description of the operation or occupancy and its location and any other information required by the code official. Issued permits shall bear the signature of the code official or other approved legal authorization.

105.4 Revocation

STATE AMENDMENT
Without precluding the imposition of any other remedies or penalties authorized under the Fire Code, or other District of Columbia regulations or statutes, the code official is authorized to revoke a permit issued under the provisions of the Fire Code for any of the following conditions:
  1. The permit is used for a location or establishment other than that for which it was issued.
  2. The permit is used for a condition or activity other than that listed in the permit.
  3. Any of the conditions or limitations set forth in the permit has been violated.
  4. There have been any false statements or misrepresentations as to the material facts in the application for permit or on the plans on which a permit or approval was based.
  5. The permit is used by a different person than the person in whose name the permit was issued.
  6. The permittee failed, refused or neglected to comply with orders or notices duly served in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Code within the time provided therein.
  7. The permit was issued in error or in violation of an ordinance, regulation or the Fire Code.
Revocations based on Section 105.4 shall become final upon occurrence of one of the following conditions:
  1. The permit holder fails to timely request a hearing from the Office of Administrative Hearings within 15 days of the date of service of the notice of revocation pursuant to Section 108.1; or
  2. The Office of Administrative Hearings finds that grounds exist to revoke the permit following a hearing requested by the permit holder pursuant to Section 108.1.

105.4.2 Cancellations

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official shall have the right to declare a permit null and void, if the Fire Department determines that the permit was erroneously issued as the result of administrative or clerical error and notifies the permit holder of the error within five business days of permit issuance. Upon such notification, the permit holder shall promptly surrender the permit for cancellation; however, the failure to surrender the permit voluntarily for cancellation shall not affect its invalidity and the permit shall be cancelled upon notification to the permit holder in accordance with Section 109.2.1.

105.5

STATE AMENDMENT
[Deleted]
The code official is authorized to issue operational permits for the operations set forth in Sections 105.6.1 through 105.6.47.

105.6.1 Aerosol Products

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to manufacture, store or handle an aggregate quantity of Level 2 or Level 3 aerosol products in excess of 500 pounds (227 kg) net weight.

105.6.2 Amusement Buildings

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to operate a special amusement building.

105.6.3 Aviation Facilities

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to use Group H or Group S occupancy for aircraft servicing or repair and aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles. Additional permits required by other sections of the Fire Code include, but are not limited to, hot work, hazardous materials and flammable finishes or combustible finishes.

105.6.4 Carnivals and Fairs

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to conduct a carnival or fair.
An operational permit is required to store, handle or use cellulose nitrate film in a Group A occupancy.
An operational permit is required to operate a grain elevator, flour, starch mill, feed mill, or a plant pulverizing aluminum, coal, cocoa, magnesium, spices or sugar, or other operations producing combustible dusts as defined in Chapter 2.

105.6.7 Combustible Fibers

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the storage and handling of combustible fibers in quantities greater than 100 cubic feet (2.8 m3).

Exception: A permit is not required for agricultural storage.

105.6.8 Compressed Gases

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the storage, use or handling at normal temperature and pressure (NTP) of compressed gases in excess of the amounts listed in Table 105.6.8.

Exception: Vehicles equipped for and using compressed gas as a fuel for propelling the vehicle.

TABLE 105.6.8
PERMIT AMOUNTS FOR COMPRESSED GASES
TYPE OF GAS AMOUNT
(cubic feet at NTP)
Corrosive 200
Flammable (except cryogenic fluids and
liquefied petroleum gases)
200
Highly toxic Any amount
Inert and simple asphyxiant 6,000
Oxidizing (including oxygen) 504
Pyrophoric Any amount
Toxic Any amount
For SI: 1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m3.
An operational permit is required for:
  1. The placement of retail fixtures and displays, concession equipment, displays of highly combustible goods and similar items in the mall.
  2. The display of liquid- or gas-fired equipment in the mall.
  3. The use of open-flame or flame-producing equipment in the mall.

105.6.10 Cryogenic Fluids

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to produce, store, transport on site, use, handle or dispense cryogenic fluids in excess of the amounts listed in Table 105.6.10.

Exception: Permits are not required for vehicles equipped for and using cryogenic fluids as a fuel for propelling the vehicle or for refrigerating the lading.

TABLE 105.6.10
PERMIT AMOUNTS FOR CRYOGENIC FLUIDS
TYPE OF CRYOGENIC FLUID INSIDE
BUILDING
(gallons)
OUTSIDE
BUILDING
(gallons)
Flammable More than 1 60
Inert 60 500
Oxidizing (includes oxygen) 10 50
Physical or health hazard not
indicated above
Any amount Any amount
For SI: 1 gallon = 3.785 L.
An operational permit is required to conduct cutting or welding operations in the District of Columbia.
An operational permit is required to engage in the business of dry cleaning or to change to a more hazardous cleaning solvent used in existing dry cleaning equipment.
An operational permit is required to operate exhibits and trade shows.

105.6.14 Explosives

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the manufacture, storage, handling, sale or use of any quantity of explosives, explosive materials, fireworks or pyrotechnic special effects within the scope of Chapter 33.

Exception: Storage in Group R-3 occupancies of smokeless propellant, black powder and small arms primers for personal use, not for resale and in accordance with Section 3306.
An operational permit is required to use or operate fire hydrants or valves intended for fire suppression purposes which are installed on water systems and accessible to a fire apparatus access road that is open to or generally used by the public.

Exception: A permit is not required for authorized employees of the water company that supplies the system or the fire department to use or operate fire hydrants or valves.
An operational permit is required:
  1. To use or operate a pipeline for the transportation within facilities of flammable or combustible liquids. This requirement shall not apply to the offsite transportation in pipelines regulated by the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT), nor does it apply to piping systems.
  2. To store, handle or use Class I liquids in excess of 5 gallons (19 L) in a building or in excess of 10 gallons (37.9 L) outside of a building, except that a permit is not required for the following:

    1. The storage or use of Class I liquids in the fuel tank of a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, mobile power plant or mobile heating plant, unless such storage, in the opinion of the code official, would cause an unsafe condition.
    2. The storage or use of paints, oils, varnishes or similar flammable mixtures when such liquids are stored for maintenance, painting or similar purposes for a period of not more than 30 days.
  3. To store, handle or use Class II or Class IIIA liquids in excess of 25 gallons (95 L) in a building or in excess of 60 gallons (227 L) outside a building, except for fuel oil used in connection with oilburning equipment.
  4. To store, handle or use Class IIIB liquids in tanks or portable tanks for fueling motor vehicles at motor fuel-dispensing facilities or where connected to fuel-burning equipment.

    Exception: Fuel oil and used motor oil used for space heating or water heating.
  5. To remove Class I or II liquids from an underground storage tank used for fueling motor vehicles by any means other than the approved, stationary on-site pumps normally used for dispensing purposes.
  6. To operate tank vehicles, equipment, tanks, plants, terminals, wells, fuel-dispensing stations, refineries, distilleries and similar facilities where flammable and combustible liquids are produced, processed, transported, stored, dispensed or used.
  7. To place temporarily out of service (for more than 90 days) an underground, protected above-ground or above-ground flammable or combustible liquid tank.
  8. To change the type of contents stored in a flammable or combustible liquid tank to a material that poses a greater hazard than that for which the tank was designed and constructed.
  9. To manufacture, process, blend or refine flammable or combustible liquids.
  10. To engage in the dispensing of liquid fuels into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles at commercial, industrial, governmental or manufacturing establishments.
  11. To utilize a site for the dispensing of liquid fuels from tank vehicles into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles, marine craft and other special equipment at commercial, industrial, governmental or manufacturing establishments.

105.6.17 Floor Finishing

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for floor finishing or surfacing operations exceeding 350 square feet (33 m2) using Class I or Class II liquids.
An operational permit is required to operate a fruit- or crop-ripening facility or conduct a fruit-ripening process using ethylene gas.
An operational permit is required to operate a business of fumigation or thermal insecticidal fogging and to maintain a room, vault or chamber in which a toxic or flammable fumigant is used.
An operational permit is required to store, transport on site, dispense, use or handle hazardous materials in excess of the amounts listed in Table 105.6.20.

TABLE 105.6.20
PERMIT AMOUNTS FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
TYPE OF MATERIAL AMOUNT
Combustible liquids See Section 105.6.16
Corrosive materials
Gases
See Section 105.6.8
Liquids
55 gallons
Solids
1,000 pounds
Explosive materials See Section 105.6.8
Flammable materials
Gases
See Section 105.6.8
Liquids
See Section 105.6.16
Solids
100 pounds
Highly toxic materials
Gases
See Section 105.6.8
Liquids
Any amount
Solids
Any amount
Oxidizing materials
Gases
See Section 105.6.8
Liquids
Class 4
Any amount
Class 3
1 gallon
Class 2
10 gallons
Class 1
55 gallons
Solids
Class 4
Any amount
Class 3
10 pounds
Class 2
100 pounds
Class 1
500 pounds
Organic peroxides
Liquids
Class I
Any amount
Class II
Any amount
Class III
1 gallona
Class IV
2 gallons
Class V
No permit required
Solids
Class I
Any amount
Class II
Any amount
Class III
10 poundsb
Class IV
20 pounds
Class V
No permit required
Pyrophoric materials
Gases
Any amount
Liquids
Any amount
Solids
Any amount
Toxic materials
Gases
See Section 105.6.8
Liquids
10 gallons
Solids
100 pounds
Unstable (reactive) materials
Liquids
Class 4
Any amount
Class 3
Any amount
Class 2
5 gallons
Class 1
10 gallons
Solids
Class 4
Any amount
Class 3
Any amount
Class 2
50 pounds
Class 1
100 pounds
Water-reactive materials
Liquids
Class 3
Any Amount
Class 2
5 gallons
Class 1
55 gallons
Solids
Class 3
Any Amount
Class 2
50 pounds
Class 1
500 pounds
For SI: 1 gallon = 3.785 L, 1 pound = 0.454 kg.
  1. 20 gallons when Table 5003.1.1(1) Note k applies and hazard identification signs in accordance with Section 5003.5 are provided for quantities of 20 gallons or less.
  2. 200 pounds when Table 5003.1.1(1) Note k applies and hazard identification signs in accordance with Section 5003.5 are provided for quantities of 200 pounds or less.

105.6.21 HPM Facilities

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to store, handle or use hazardous production materials.

105.6.22 High-Piled Storage

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to use a building or portion thereof as a high-piled storage area exceeding 500 square feet (46 m2).
An operational permit is required for hot work including, but not limited to:
  1. Public exhibitions and demonstrations where hot work is conducted.
  2. Use of portable hot work equipment inside a structure.

    Exception: Work that is conducted under a permit issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs pursuant to Section 105, 12 DCMR A.
  3. Fixed-site hot work equipment such as welding booths.
  4. Hot work conducted within a wildfire risk area.
  5. Application of roof coverings with the use of an open-flame device.
  6. When approved, the code official shall issue a permit to carry out a hot work program. This program allows approved personnel to regulate their facility’s hot work operations. The approved personnel shall be trained in the fire safety aspects denoted in this chapter and shall be responsible for issuing permits requiring compliance with the requirements found in Chapter 35. These permits shall be issued only to their employees or hot work operations under their supervision.

105.6.24 Industrial Ovens

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for operation of industrial ovens regulated by Chapter 30.
An operational permit is required for the storage or processing of lumber exceeding 100,000 board feet (8,333 ft3) (236 m3).
An operational permit is required to display, operate or demonstrate liquid- or gas-fueled vehicles or equipment in assembly buildings.

105.6.27 LP-Gas

STATE AMENDMENT
The use of liquefied petroleum gas is prohibited wherever natural gas is available except where permitted by the code official. An operational permit is required for the following storage and/or uses of LP-gas:
  1. Each permanent installation irrespective of the size of the containers.
  2. The storage of any number of portable containers awaiting use, refill, or sale having a combined total of 60 pounds or more.
  3. Any commercial cooking use.
  4. Vending stands, vending carts or vehicles.
  5. Tanks larger than 5 pounds used inside of any buildings.
  6. Operation of cargo tankers that transport LP-gas.
     Empty containers which have been used in LP-gas service and partially filled containers shall be considered as a full container.

105.6.28 Magnesium

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to melt, cast, heat treat or grind more than 10 pounds (4.54 kg) of magnesium.
An operational permit is required to store in any building or upon any premises in excess of 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) gross volume of combustible empty packing cases, boxes, barrels or similar containers, rubber tires, rubber, cork or similar combustible material.

105.6.30 Open Burning

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the kindling or maintaining of an open fire or a fire on any public street, alley, road, or other public or private ground. Instructions and stipulations of the permit shall be adhered to.

Exception: Recreational fires.
An operational permit is required to remove paint with a torch or to use a torch or open-flame device in a wildfire risk area.
An operational permit is required to use open flames or candles in connection with assembly areas, dining areas of restaurants or drinking establishments.

Exceptions:
  1. Places of religious worship.
  2. Candles in restaurants.

105.6.33 Organic Coatings

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for any organic-coating manufacturing operation producing more than 1 gallon (4 L) of an organic coating in one day.

105.6.34 Assembly Group A

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for use of a building or structure classified under Assembly Group A, as defined in Section 303 of the Building Code.

Exception: Assembly uses with an occupant load of less than 100 persons.
An operational permit is required for the removal from service, use or operation of private fire hydrants, provided, however, that no permit authorizing the installation of a private fire hydrant shall be approved without the recordation of an agreement in the land records of the District of Columbia that satisfies the requirements of the Private Fire Hydrant Act.

Exception: A permit is not required for private industry with trained maintenance personnel, private fire brigade or fire departments to maintain test and use private hydrants.
An operational permit is required for use and handling of pyrotechnic special effects material.

105.6.37 Pyroxylin Plastics

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for storage or handling of more than 25 pounds (11 kg) of cellulose nitrate (pyroxylin) plastics and for the assembly or manufacture of articles involving pyroxylin plastics.
An operational permit is required to operate a mechanical refrigeration unit or system regulated by Chapter 6.
An operational permit is required for operation of repair garages and automotive, marine and fleet motor fuel-dispensing facilities.

105.6.40 Rooftop Heliports

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the operation of a rooftop heliport.
An operational permit is required to conduct a spraying or dipping operation utilizing flammable or combustible liquids or the application of combustible powders regulated by Chapter 24.
An operational permit is required to establish, conduct or maintain storage of scrap tires and tire byproducts that exceed 2,500 cubic feet (71 m3) of total volume of scrap tires and for indoor storage of tires and tire byproducts.
An operational permit is required to operate an air-supported temporary membrane structure or a tent having an area in excess of 400 square feet (37 m2).

Exceptions:
  1. Tents used exclusively for recreational camping purposes.
  2. Tents open on all sides, which comply with all of the following:

    1. Individual tents having a maximum size of 700 square feet (65 m2).
    2. The aggregate area of multiple tents placed side by side without a fire break clearance of not less than 12 feet (3658 mm) shall not exceed 700 square feet (65 m2) total.
    3. A minimum clearance of 12 feet (3658 mm) to structures and other tents shall be provided.
An operational permit is required for the operation and maintenance of a tirerebuilding plant.

105.6.45 Waste Handling

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required for the operation of wrecking yards, junk yards and waste material-handling facilities.

105.6.46 Wood Products

STATE AMENDMENT
An operational permit is required to store chips, hogged material, lumber or plywood in excess of 200 cubic feet (6 m3).
An operational permit is required for the installation and use of emergency responder radio coverage systems and related equipment.

Section 106 INSPECTIONS

STATE AMENDMENT

106.1 Inspection Authority

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to enter and examine any building, structure, marine vessel, vehicle or premises in accordance with Section 104.3 for the purpose of enforcing the Fire Code.

106.2 Inspections

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is authorized to conduct such inspections as are deemed necessary to determine the extent of compliance with the provisions of the Fire Code and to approve reports of inspection by approved agencies or individuals. All reports of such inspections shall be prepared and submitted in writing for review and approval. Inspection reports shall be certified by a responsible officer of such approved agency or by the responsible individual. The code official is authorized to engage such expert opinion as deemed necessary to report upon unusual, detailed or complex technical issues.

106.2.1 Inspection Requests

STATE AMENDMENT
It shall be the duty of the holder of the permit or their duly authorized agent to notify the code official when work is ready for inspection. It shall be the duty of the permit holder to provide access to and means for inspections of such work that are required by the Fire Code.

106.3 Approvals

STATE AMENDMENT
Approval as the result of an inspection shall not be construed to be an approval of a violation of the provisions of the Fire Code or of other laws or regulations of the District of Columbia. Inspections presuming to give authority to violate or cancel provisions of the Fire Code or of other laws or regulations of the District shall not be valid.

Section 107 MAINTENANCE

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever or wherever any device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, or any other feature is required for compliance with the provisions of the Fire Code, or otherwise installed, such device, equipment, system, condition, arrangement, level of protection, or other feature shall thereafter be continuously maintained in accordance with the Fire Code and applicable referenced standards.

107.2 Testing and Operation

STATE AMENDMENT
Equipment requiring periodic testing or operation to ensure maintenance shall be tested or operated as specified in the Fire Code.
Required test and inspection records shall be available to the code official at all times, and such records as designated shall be filed with the code official.
Where any work or installation does not pass an initial test or inspection, the necessary corrections shall be made so as to achieve compliance with the Fire Code. The work or installation shall then be resubmitted to the code official for inspection and testing.

107.3 Supervision

STATE AMENDMENT
Maintenance and testing shall be under the supervision of a responsible person who shall ensure that such maintenance and testing is conducted at specified intervals in accordance with the Fire Code.
Portable or fixed fire-extinguishing systems or devices and fire-warning systems shall not be rendered inoperative or inaccessible except as necessary during emergencies, maintenance, repairs, alterations, drills or prescribed testing.

107.5 Overcrowding

STATE AMENDMENT
Overcrowding or admittance of any person beyond the approved capacity of a building or a portion thereof shall not be allowed. The code official, upon finding any overcrowding conditions or obstructions in aisles, passageways or other means of egress, or upon finding any condition which constitutes a life safety hazard, shall be authorized to cause the event to be stopped until such condition or obstruction is corrected.

Section 108 APPEALS

STATE AMENDMENT

108.1 Right of Appeal

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person directly affected by a notice or order issued under this Fire Code shall have the right to appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings, pursuant to the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act of 2001, effective March 6, 2002 [D.C. Law 14-76; D.C. Official Code § 2-1831.01 et seq. (2012 Repl.)] and regulations promulgated thereunder. The appeal shall be filed within 15 days of the date of service of the notice or order. An appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of the Fire Code has been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of the code do not fully apply, or the requirements of the Fire Code are adequately satisfied by other means.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, OAH review of a notice or order to close or vacate a residential premises issued pursuant to Section 110 shall be based solely on the issue of whether the premises are unsafe or unfit for occupancy requiring a building closure under the provisions of Section 110 of the Fire Code; and OAH review of a notice or order to close or vacate a residential premises issued pursuant to Section 111 shall be based solely on the issue of whether the code official’s building closure decision was arbitrary and capricious.
Where a notice or order to close or vacate a residential premises is issued pursuant to Section 111, a tenant or occupant of the premises affected by the closure has a right to request an expedited hearing by OAH prior to the closure subject to the following requirements:
  1. The tenant or occupant shall file the request for an expedited hearing with OAH no later than the date specified in the closure order for tenants or occupants to vacate the structure or unit;
  2. OAH review shall be based solely on the issue of whether the premises are unsafe or unfit for occupancy requiring a building closure under the provisions of Section 110 of the Fire Code;
  3. Enforcement of the closure notice or order shall be stayed until OAH issues a written decision; and
  4. OAH shall hold a hearing within 72 hours of receipt of a timely request, and shall issue a decision within 72 hours after the hearing record is closed. In determining the 72-hour period, weekends and legal holidays shall be excluded.
     Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize an expedited hearing for any notices or orders issued, or actions taken, pursuant to Section 111.
Appeal of a closure notice or order issued pursuant to Section 110, or a request for an expedited hearing pursuant to 108.1.2, shall not preclude the code official from issuing a notice or order pursuant to Section 111 for the same premises or structure, while such appeal or hearing is pending.

108.2 Stay of Action

STATE AMENDMENT
Appeals of notices or orders shall stay the enforcement of the notice or order until the appeal is heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Exceptions:
  1. Notices or orders issued pursuant to Section 111, Emergency Measures.
  2. Closure notices or orders issued pursuant to Section 110, and related orders to vacate premises, except where the tenant or occupant has requested an expedited OAH hearing in accordance with Section 108.1.2.
  3. Stop work orders issued pursuant to Section 109.6.
Any person ordered to take emergency measures or to correct unsafe conditions shall comply with such order forthwith. Any affected person may thereafter pursue his, her or its right of appeal pursuant to Section 108.1.

Section 109 VIOLATIONS

STATE AMENDMENT

109.1 Unlawful Acts

STATE AMENDMENT
It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, repair, remove, demolish or utilize a building, occupancy, premises or system regulated by the Fire Code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of the Fire Code.
When the code official finds a building, premises, vehicle, storage facility or outdoor area that is in violation of the Fire Code, the code official is authorized to prepare a written notice of violation or order describing the conditions deemed unsafe and, when compliance is not immediate, specifying a time for reinspection.

109.2.1 Service

STATE AMENDMENT
A notice of violation or order issued pursuant to the Fire Code shall be served upon the owner, operator, occupant, or other person responsible for the condition or violation, in accordance with the service provisions set forth in 12 DCMR A, § 113.2.1, which are incorporated herein by reference.
Where a notice or order is issued to the owner of a residential premises with respect to a dwelling unit occupied by a tenant, the code official shall provide such tenant with a copy of the notice or order. This requirement will be satisfied by mailing a copy to the tenant by first-class mail, leaving a copy at the tenant’s residence or any other reasonable method in the code official’s discretion.
In any instance where a notice or order affects more than one tenant of a residential building or dwelling, including notices or orders involving common space, the code official shall post a copy of any notice or order issued to the owner for a reasonable time in one or more locations within the building or buildings in which the violation exists. The locations for posting the notification shall be reasonably selected to give notice to all tenants affected. Any tenant directly affected by the violation(s) shall, upon request to the code official, be sent a copy of the posted notification.
Where the code official (a) issues an order or notice to close and barricade a residential structure or dwelling unit, pursuant to Section 110, or (b) posts a closure or imminently dangerous order or notice pursuant to Section 111, in addition to posting the notice or order as provided in 109.2.2.1, the code official shall provide a copy of the notice or order to each tenant affected by the notice or order by leaving a copy at each dwelling unit or any other reasonable method in the code official’s discretion.
The code official shall not be subject to any other tenant notification provisions, except as expressly set forth in this Section 109.2.2.
Issuance of a notice of violation pursuant to this section is at the discretion of the code official. Failure to give a notice of violation shall not be a bar to any criminal prosecution, civil action, or civil infraction proceeding brought under the Fire Code.
A notice of violation or order issued or served as provided by the Fire Code shall be complied with by the owner, operator, occupant or other person responsible for the condition or violation to which the notice of violation or order pertains.
If the notice of violation is not complied with as specified by the code official, the code official may issue a collateral notice, or civil infraction. If violations are not corrected as specified, a request may be made to the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General to institute the appropriate legal proceedings to restrain, correct or abate the violation or require removal or termination of the unlawful use of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of the Fire Code or of any related order or direction. The code official may request a law enforcement officer to make arrests for any offense cited in the Fire Code or orders of the code official affecting the immediate safety of the public.
Signs, tags or seals posted or affixed by the code official shall not be mutilated, destroyed, obstructed, tampered with or removed without authorization from the code official.

109.3 Violation Penalties

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of the Fire Code or failing to comply with any order issued pursuant to any section of the Fire Code, upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation continues, after a service of notice as provided in the Fire Code, shall be deemed a separate offense.

109.4 Civil Infractions

STATE AMENDMENT
Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of the Fire Code, or any rules or regulations issued under authority of the Fire Code or pursuant to Title IIII of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Civil Infractions Act of 1985 [D.C. Law 6-42, D.C. Official Code § 2-1801.01 et seq. (2012 Repl.)] (“Civil Infractions Act”). Notices of infraction shall be issued in accordance with the procedures and fine amounts set forth in Section 201 of the Civil Infractions Act and Title 16 of the DCMR.
In addition to the imposition of the penalties herein described, the code official is authorized to institute appropriate action to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation; or to prevent illegal occupancy of a structure or premises; or to stop an illegal act, conduct of business or occupancy of a structure on or about any premises.

109.6 Stop Work Order

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever the code official finds any work regulated by the Fire Code being performed in a manner contrary to the provisions of the Fire Code or in a dangerous or unsafe manner, the code official is authorized to issue a stop work order.
A stop work order shall be in writing, in a form prescribed by the code official, and shall be given to the owner of the property, or to the owner’s agent, or to the person doing the work. If the stop work order cannot be delivered personally, notice shall be effected by posting the stop work order in or about the structure affected by such notice as provided in Section 109.6.1.1. Upon issuance of a stop work order, the cited work shall immediately cease, except such work as that person is directed to perform by the code official to remove a violation or unsafe condition. The stop work order shall state the reason for the order, and the conditions under which the cited work is authorized to resume. The stop work order shall state the address of the property and the specific section or sections of the Fire Code violated. It shall also contain a description of the right to appeal the order and how to obtain an appeal form. No stop work order shall be issued nor considered valid unless it contains all of the above information, along with the signature of the issuing official.
Regardless of how service is effected, the code official shall post the stop work order in a conspicuous location, visible to the public and other government officials, in or about the building, structure or premises affected by the stop work order.
Unauthorized removal or obstruction of a posted stop work order is a violation of the Construction Codes, and is subject to the penalties provided in D.C. Official Code § 6-1406 (2012 Repl.) and the injunctive relief set out in D.C. Official Code § 6-1407 (2012 Repl.).
Where the code official requires access into a structure to post a stop work order, the owner of the structure, or his or her agent, must provide the required access within 24 hours after receiving written notice from the code official pursuant to Section 109.6.1.

109.6.2 Emergencies

STATE AMENDMENT
Where an emergency or imminently dangerous condition exists, the code official shall not be required to give a written notice prior to stopping the work.

109.6.3 Failure to Comply

STATE AMENDMENT
Any person who shall continue any work after a stop work order has been posted, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be subject to the penalties set forth in D.C. Official Code § 6-1406 (2012 Repl.) and the injunctive relief set out in D.C. Official Code § 6-1407 (2012 Repl.).
The owner of the property, or his or her agent, serving as the contractor of record, shall be deemed to have violated the stop work order where his or her subordinate employees, workers, and subcontractors do not comply with the requirements of the stop work order.
Upon finding that the requirements of a stop work order have been violated including the removal of a stop work order, the code official may request the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia to institute appropriate proceedings which may include the arrest and prosecution of the owner or agent.
The property owner, his or her agent, or the person responsible for the work cited in a stop work order, may initiate an appeal within the Department from a stop work order. Claimants shall appeal using a form provided by the code official, on which they shall state the grounds for the appeal, which shall be based on a claim that the Fire Code or the rules legally adopted thereunder, have been incorrectly interpreted or applied, or the requirements of the Fire Code are adequately satisfied by other means. The appeal shall be filed within 15 days after the date on which the stop work order is posted.

109.6.4.1 Action on Appeal

STATE AMENDMENT
Within 10 business days after the date of receipt of the appeals form, the code official shall affirm, modify, or reverse the previous action or decision. The decision of the code official shall be the final decision of the Department. If the code official denies the appeal, or does not act upon the appeal within the 10 business day period, the decision will be deemed affirmed and the claimant may appeal the matter directly to the Office of Administrative Hearings, as provided for in Section 108.

109.6.4.2 Stay of Action

STATE AMENDMENT
The filing of an appeal does not stay the effect of a stop work order.

110.1 General

STATE AMENDMENT
If during the inspection of a premises, a building or structure or any building system, in whole or in part, or existing equipment constitutes a clear and inimical threat to human life, safety or health, the code official shall issue such notice or orders to remove or remedy the conditions as shall be deemed necessary in accordance with this section and shall notify the building code official of any repairs, alterations, remodeling, removing or demolition required.

110.1.1 Unsafe Conditions

STATE AMENDMENT
Structures or existing equipment that are or hereafter become unsafe or deficient because of inadequate means of egress, or which constitute a fire hazard, or are otherwise dangerous to human life or the public welfare, or which involve illegal or improper occupancy or inadequate maintenance, shall be deemed unsafe conditions. A vacant structure which is not secured against unauthorized entry as required by Section 311 shall be deemed unsafe.

110.1.2 Structural Hazards

STATE AMENDMENT
When an apparent structural hazard is caused by the faulty installation, operation or malfunction of any of the items or devices governed by the Fire Code, the code official shall immediately notify the building code official in accordance with Section 110.1.

110.1.3 Special Measures

STATE AMENDMENT
Temporary special fire protection measures shall be taken when adequate fire protection is not being provided or hazardous or dangerous conditions exist. Installation of special fire protection equipment is one of the available special measures. Special fire protection equipment shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of the Fire Code and the Building Code.

110.2 Evacuation

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official or the fire department official in charge of an incident shall be authorized to order the immediate evacuation of any occupied building deemed unsafe when such building has hazardous conditions that present imminent danger to building occupants. Persons so notified shall immediately leave the structure or premises and shall not enter or re-enter until authorized to do so by the code official or the fire department official in charge of the incident.

110.3 Summary Abatement

STATE AMENDMENT
Where conditions exist that violate the Fire Code and are deemed hazardous to life and property, the code official or fire department official in charge of the incident is authorized to abate summarily such hazardous conditions.

110.4 Abatement

STATE AMENDMENT
The owner, operator or occupant of a premises, including any buildings or structures thereon, deemed unsafe by the code official shall abate or cause to be abated or corrected such unsafe conditions either by repair, rehabilitation, demolition or other approved corrective action.
The owner of a premises, including any structures and buildings thereon, shall be responsible for the safe and proper maintenance of the premises at all times in compliance with Fire Code requirements, except as otherwise provided in this code. Occupants are responsible for keeping that part of the premises which they occupy and control in a safe condition. In existing buildings, the fire protection equipment systems or devices, means of egress and safeguards required by the Fire Code or a previous statute, code or other District of Columbia municipal regulation, shall be maintained in good working order. If an owner, tenant or other legitimate occupant of a premises, including any building or structure thereon, creates conditions in violation of the Fire Code by virtue of storage, handling and use of substances, materials, devices and appliances, the owner, tenant or occupant shall be held responsible for the abatement of said hazardous conditions.
Where the code official issues an order or notice to close and barricade a residential building or dwelling unit pursuant to Section 110, the following additional provisions shall apply.
  1. The notice or order shall specify a date by which tenants or occupants are required to vacate the residential building or dwelling unit.
  2. The notice or order shall include a statement informing tenants or occupants of the building or unit of the right to appeal pursuant to Section 108 of the Fire Code, including, where applicable, the right to an expedited hearing pursuant to Section 108.1.2.
  3. A copy of the notice or order shall be provided to tenants in accordance with Section 109.2.2.
  4. The notice shall provide contact information for the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

111.1 Imminent Danger

STATE AMENDMENT
The code official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the occupants to vacate the premises forthwith when, in the opinion of the code official, any work, operations, processes or conditions regulated by the Fire Code create an imminent danger to building occupants or those in the proximity of any premises because of: the hazard of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling or use of structures, materials or devices; fire hazards in the structure or on the premises from occupancy or operation; conditions affecting the safety of fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations; or conditions hazardous to life, property or public welfare. The code official shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such structure a notice reading as follows: “This Structure Is Unsafe and Its Occupancy Has Been Prohibited by the [code official].” It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of securing the structure, making the required repairs, removing the hazardous condition or of demolishing the same.

111.2 Temporary Safeguards

STATE AMENDMENT
Whenever, in the opinion of the code official, there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition, the code official is authorized to order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding up of openings, to render such structure or premises temporarily safe whether or not the legal procedures set forth in Section 109 have been instituted; and shall further cause such other action to be taken as the code official deems necessary to meet such emergency.

111.3 Closing Streets

STATE AMENDMENT
When necessary for the public safety, the code official is authorized to temporarily close sidewalks, streets, buildings, other structures, and places adjacent to such unsafe structure, and prohibit them from being used.

111.4 Emergency Repairs

STATE AMENDMENT
For the purposes of this section, the code official shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform the required work as expeditiously as possible
Where the code official causes emergency work to be done pursuant to Section 111.2 or Section 111.4, the costs incurred in the performance of emergency work shall be paid from appropriations of the District of Columbia on certification of the code official and shall be assessed as a tax against the property on which the emergency work or repairs were performed, carried as a tax on the regular tax rolls, and collected in the same manner as real estate taxes are collected.
Where the code official posts a closure or imminently dangerous notice or order pursuant to Section 111, the code official is authorized to order all tenants or occupants to vacate the imminently dangerous structure or dwelling unit. The notice or order shall include the time by which the premises must be vacated, provided that tenants and occupants shall be given at least 24 hours to vacate, unless the code official determines that tenants and occupants must leave the premises immediately for their personal safety. If any tenant or occupant fails to vacate the structure or unit within the time specified in the notice or order, the code official is authorized to order removal of the tenant or occupant from the structure or unit.
Where the code official posts a closure or imminently dangerous order or notice in a residential structure or dwelling unit pursuant to Section 111, the following additional provisions shall apply.
  1. The notice or order shall specify a date by which tenants or occupants are required to vacate the residential building or dwelling unit.
  2. The notice or order shall include a statement informing tenants or occupants of the building or unit of the right to appeal pursuant to Section 108.1 of the Fire Code.
  3. A copy of the notice or order shall be provided to tenants in accordance with Section 109.2.2.
  4. The notice shall provide contact information for the Office of the Tenant Advocate.
The removal of tenants from imminently dangerous premises, or the service of an order to vacate, pursuant to this Section 111 shall not be considered an eviction or notice to vacate under D.C. Official Code § 42-3505.01 (2012 Repl.). Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall be construed to nullify or abrogate any other rights to which a tenant is entitled under District laws or regulations, including relocation assistance, the right to reoccupy the rental unit following rehabilitation, or the right to pursue rights and remedies under D.C. Official Code, Title 42, Chapter 34.

111.7 Appeals

STATE AMENDMENT
Imminent danger notices and orders, and other orders and notices issued pursuant to Section 111, are appealable to OAH pursuant to Section 108, but any appeal shall not stay the enforcement of the notice or order. Any person ordered to take emergency measures or actions shall comply with such order forthwith. The expedited hearing procedures set forth in Section 108.1.2 shall not apply to orders and notices issued pursuant to Section 111.
The code official shall have the authority to authorize disconnection of utility service to a building, structure or system in order to safely execute emergency operations or to eliminate an immediate hazard. The code official shall notify the serving utility and, whenever possible, the owner and occupant of the building, structure or service system of the decision to disconnect prior to taking such action if not notified prior to disconnection. The owner or occupant of the building, structure or service system shall be notified in writing as soon as practical thereafter.

Section 113 FEES

STATE AMENDMENT

113.1 Fees

STATE AMENDMENT
A permit shall not be issued until the applicable fees have been paid, nor shall an amendment to a permit be released until the additional fee, if any, has been paid.

113.2 Fee Schedule

STATE AMENDMENT
A fee for each plan examination, permit and inspection shall be paid in accordance with the applicable fee schedule published in the D.C. Register, as amended from time to time.
Any person who commences any work, activity or operation regulated by the Fire Code before obtaining the necessary permits shall be subject to an additional fee, which shall be in addition to the required permit fees.

113.4 Related Fees

STATE AMENDMENT
The payment of the fee for the construction, alteration, removal or demolition of work done in connection to or concurrently with the work or activity authorized by a permit shall not relieve the applicant or holder of the permit from the payment of other fees that are prescribed by law.
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